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"O telescope, instrument of much knowledge, more precious than any sceptre!"

– Johannes Kepler

PALISADES-DOWS OBSERVATORY

 

Boller & Chivens telescope

The 24-inch Boller & Chivens telescope and Orion photographed by CAA member Lynn Reihman. Click image to enlarge.

In cooperation with the Linn County Conservation Department, the CAA broke ground for an observatory at Palisades-Dows Preserve in 1987.

In addition to the Eastern Iowa Observatory and Learning Center facility, which was completed in 2008, the observatory features two other buildings on the grounds that house permanently mounted telescopes.

The domed building, which was the original structure on the grounds, houses a 1970s-era Celestron classical cassegrain telescope with a 16-inch mirror. This rare telescope was generously donated by The University of Iowa through the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Across the sidewalk from the 16-inch telescope is a wooden building with a roll-off roof that houses a refracting telescope with a 6-inch lens and several portable telescopes.

VISITING PAL-DOWS

  • The observatory is located on the southern edge of Palisades State Park at 1365 Ivanhoe Road. The facility is approximately 15 miles southeast of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  • See the Map to Pal-Dows page for details).
  • Watch out for deer!

Electricity is supplied to all buildings and an illuminated walkway leads from the parking lot to the buildings and observing pads (also supplied with electrical power.)

While everyone is welcome to visit the observatory for scheduled Events, membership in the CAA entitles individuals to use of the facilities and society equipment.

 

EASTERN IOWA OBSERVATORY AND LEARNING CENTER

 

Pal-Dows Observatory
A quiet moment during the day at Pal-Dows.

Greater Cedar Rapids and Linn County have a unique opportunity to create what will be the premier public astronomy site in Iowa!

The recently opened facility will become the home of 16-inch robotic telescope and a superb 24-inch Boller & Chivens classical cassegrain telescope that was graciously donated by The University of Iowa through the efforts of Professor Steven Spangler and others in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. This telescope will be refurbished and upgraded by members of the Cedar Amateur Astronomers and is expected to be put into service, along with the robotic telescope, in early 2008.

Learn more about this project at the EIOLC Page.